Toronto is a Popular Destination

There is some pretty impressive data here on passenger numbers (hat tip The Economist). You can compare 2003 and 2011 numbers between specific US and international cities. The data isn't perfect.  For example, you can't tell if it is Americans or foreigners on those planes. Still, there are some important observations that can be gleaned. 

Above all is the observation that traffic number can vary wildly. Investing in airlines is risky business. Some numbers can perhaps be explained: airport expansion in Liberia, Costa Rica. Others are a mystery: Vancouver and Calgary traffic down 18 and 15% to and from Minneapolis. 

Here are some other observations:
-Minneapolis sends 225,547 people a year to Cancun, Mexico (I feel confident in the assumption that few of those passengers are Mexican). That is by far the most popular international destination from Minneapolis. Guess what international destination is slightly closer to Minneapolis. Yup: Varadero, Cuba...

-Do you find that Toronto hotels are expensive? Well if you do, you can blame Chicago. Chicago-Toronto traffic was 392,000 in 2011, up 25% over 2003! Folks in Chicago also love Cancun: 344,000 passengers (up 20% over 2003). Guess what international destination is 150km closer to Chicago Yup: Varadero, Cuba...

-Over a million people travelled between Toronto-Montreal and Miami in 2011. Up 60% for Montreal! Clearly, Caribbean countries should be more aggressive when it comes to attracting Canadians. Although you can't drive to Jamaica, which might explain why 350,000  people flew from Miami. 

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